There isn't one, concrete answer when it comes to the right mix of digital and traditional marketing. It's incredibly dependent on the client, the intended outcome, the budget, and the target audience. We take all of these factors into account when it comes to planning a marketing strategy. Around here we like to say, "Print marketing isn't dying, it's changing." Which is the cold hard truth. There is still a need for print marketing in a variety of forms. You might attract a customer through digital means but you can help build the relationship when they get your print materials in their hands. When these two pathways start to work together, you're on your way to total market domination.
Your target audience will determine your marketing choices
In order to reach your customer effectively, you need to know who you're talking to. Obviously, if you're trying to reach the baby boomers or the "silent generation" you're going to go more traditional with your media buying and your deliverables. This group is much more receptive to direct messaging and traditional communication. If you're looking to reach the Gen X-ers you can probably hit a good mix of traditional and digital marketing. Emails, blogs, and Pinterest are a great way to reach the GenX-ers as well. When looking at the Gen Y-ers and younger, I would go digital all the way with an emphasis on Snapchat and Instagram.
Know your market
Even within Montana, the advertising markets differ from town to town. In some towns we can really get a bang for our buck when doing traditional radio advertising. In others we get a lot more engagment with targeted social media campaigns. We've noticed in Montana, Twitter isn't that popular. If we are looking at an out of state client we would definitely reconsider this. We mainly use Instagram and Facebook when targeting local customers or Snapchat when we're trying to reach the college and younger demographic. It's not to say that we won't purchase a print ad in a local publication, or sponsor an event that targets our demographic. It's really about getting your boots to the ground and figuring out where your customers are.
Within digital media it's good to know what kind of customers are frequenting each network. Facebook is still another great way to reach the 55+ crowd and Pinterest is a great way to reach women specifically.
You can read all about social media demographics from the Pew Research Institute here.
Try Out a Strategy and Change it
There are definitely different approaches that get us more responses. Traditonal advertising is hard to get measurements on (duh, you know that) so we might create an independent landing page where we can monitor visitors. Or provide people a special code to use, or a number to call. This gives us a bit of information on how our traditional advertising is being received.
In digital marketing, we monitor email opens and click through rates, or social media posts to see what kind of messages and imagery are getting the most response. Then we take what's working and keep doing it. Seems simple enough, right? The one thing we do all the time is build flexibility into our strategies for clients. We don't want to be tied down to one thing if we find its really not working.
So, what's the moral of this story? There is no right answer. You will try things that work and don't work. Determine your goals, do your research,and figure out what your target market responds to. Don't eliminate traditional marketing all together. Even in this digital world, people are hungry for traditional advertising that engages them.
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